A friend of an Ole Miss student, charged with armed robbery in Jackson, is speaking out. He says Byron Magee is a good guy who has made the mistake of his life and he knows why and wants the public to understand.
"Real good guy, very intelligent, phenomenal in athletics, basketball", is how William McLain is describing the 22 year old man police believe is shown on surveillance video at the Kangaroo Express on Old Canton Road earlier this week.
Byron Magee is now charged with armed robbery of a business and armed robbery of an individual.
"I think probably a few years ago, 4 or 5 he developed a mental illness," said McLain. "He's been taking medication but here recently he got off and I know from a personal experience that when you take a medication for a long amount of time and you get off of it, you can have some bad consequences and I think that's what happened with him."
The video shows a man walking into the store to make a purchase. When his credit card is declined, he leaves the store and returns with a shotgun. He takes money and the clerk's cell phone.
"I asked him why, what, what's going on, are you on drugs, or what's going on?" said McLain. "He stated that he hasn't been on his medication and has been very delusional and something inside of his head told him to do it. And when his credit card declined that added fuel to the fire."
Magee turned himself in to police accompanied by his lawyer. McLain says he hopes his friend is treated like a patient and not a hardened criminal.
"Paranoid schizophrenia, as far as I know is a very nasty disorder, which causes people to hear voices and hear things which can make them do things they wouldn't otherwise do," McLain added. "So in this case I think that's what happened and I want people to know that Byron is not a bad person. He's very intelligent, very smart and comes from a good family."
McLain says he thinks Magee got the gun from his home, but he will never believe he would have hurt anyone.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:28 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:28:36 GMT
The search is over for the missing Mississippi 17-year-old at the center of the weekend Amber Alert. Katelyn Beard's body was found Tuesday before noon, off of Darden road, near the scene of a morningMore >>
The coroner said her body had been dumped for at least two days, and she was shot in the head.More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:18 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:18:00 GMT
The Mississippi Highway Patrol has issued an Amber Alert for 17-year-old Katelyn Beard. She was abducted Saturday morning from between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. from 4244 Lynda Street in Jackson. BeardMore >>
Katelyn Beard's body was found during a search by local law enforcement Tuesday morning. More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:33:06 GMT
SPARTANBURG COUNT, SC (WYFF) - Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. DeputiesMore >>
Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:17 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:17:29 GMT
Tracy Lynn Garner is being sentenced, Tuesday, in connection to illicit silicone buttocks injections that led to an Atlanta woman's death. Garner was convicted Friday evening after the jury deliberatedMore >>
Garner was convicted Friday evening after the jury deliberated for about five hours.More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:07:52 GMT
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert MahaffeyMore >>
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffey of Brandon in the first weekend of the season.More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:39 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:39:10 GMT
(WMC) – Memphis police are the scene of a shooting where a woman was possibly shot in the head. This happened in the 900 block of East Raines Road, near Elvis Presley Boulevard on Tuesday morning. ThisMore >>
A Memphis mother of two was shot and killed by her estranged husband outside a Whitehaven day care center Tuesday morning. More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201